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Thus he fulfilled the dearest trust
To hide the beauty of her youth,
Pent in the cell of grief uncouth,
For her to meet all deaths, all pain
Hath rescued her to life again.
Is in his dwelling, and her Heaven
From all the haunts of mankind driven.
Though fame-even fame he must forego, Nought grieveth he while love is left;
Love singly makes him wholly blest,
That only Heaven that mortals know.
She who is all his thought below, Brightens to him that rugged nest, Amid the oaken shades above, And theirs is the full life of youth and love; Youth in its fairest hopes, and freshest hues; Passion so rapt that, in to-day it views A bliss it deems the morrow cannot lose. Strange that so glad a dream should e'er have birth, In human hearts,-'mid mockeries of this Earth!
The joyous toil of the chase is o'er,
And that hunter wends to his hidden home. On the highwood bent, he hears the roar
Of the water that speeds in its path of foam ; And welcome to him is that lulling sound,
Though it never soothed his cradled-sleep, Though his birth-place was not in that mountain
ground, Nor his youth had sported, from steep to steep, In that most dear and lonely wild, Where he hath grown a desert-child. Not half so winning to his eye
Could even the first-loved valley be,
Afar in fruitful Sicily, Where his first years went smiling by, As those rough scenes that passion's power Hath charmed in its most witching hour. Thereby, the far uplifted peaks,
The ancient snows, the rocky side
Of the rent mountain gaping wide, Whence many a snaky torrent breaks, The sloping woodlands dark and wide Are ever strangely beautified. His eyes have there an Eden found, As he homeward crosses the tangled ground Of the high solitudes, where no sound Through all the girdling forest round Tells him that yon wide plains below Are still the realms of guilt and woe. O'er those tall pines the latest beam Glows with a more than golden gleam, Waking in the beholder's breast The rapture of most living rest, And never pilgrim reached the shrine
He toiled through weary moons to gain, With such a sense of joy divine,
So free an outbreak from all pain,
As fills Arnaldo, while he sees
Where twilight brings its earliest gloom, Where longest the night-shadows last,
And the full day can never come. The warblers wild are met to sing,
Where, age by age, in hours like this
Their race hath uttered half its bliss. From branch to branch their carols ring; From forest to forest those sweet throats Prolong the ancient sylvan notes, And tireless all their lays are blending, As the glad strife should ne'er have ending. Though there the nightingale dwelleth not,
More witching to Arnaldo seems The music of that lonely spot,
Than aught that won his earlier dreams In green Mazzara's olive groves, That most the midnight-songstress loves.
Blithe as the bird of wildest flight,
Is he, whose looks become more bright,
As now above the headlong stream
He views that hut, in the evening beam,
The voice, a thousand-told more sweet,
With all of music, when to greet
That like an ice-blast harrows him Heart-deep at once. What doth he see?
A scroll,—but his straining sight grows dim,